National Geographic Channel Seconds From Disaster

Season 2 Episode 10

TWA Flight 800

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Oct 18, 2005 on National Geographic
out of 10
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Episode Summary

TWA Flight 800
Less than 30 minutes into the flight, TWA 800 exploded and plummeted 16,000 feet into the sea, killing everyone on board. There was no mayday call from the crew. What happened?
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  • What all can go wrong...

    Fine example that when something can go wrong, it will. A plain crash what is thought to be due friendly fire soon is realized to happened because of a fault that all other airplains as old as this from the same serie have - so this what happened with that plain, can happen with any of them. And like so often in aviation - they fix the problems after so many people are died.

    I do not know but this episode did not caught my attention much. It was somehow off the usual motion and did not had so much off what I was expecting. But informative still.moreless
  • Explains how the disaster occurred.

    This disaster was caused by fuel vapours and poor wiring.

    When Flight TWA800 was on the ground the air conditioners produced heat, which heated up the liquid fuel in one of the tanks, causing it to become a vapour (more unstable / flammable state).

    During the flight an electrical charge jumped from a broken wire to a broken wire that was connected to the fuel gauge (raising the voltage in the wire). When the extra electricity got to the fuel gauge it caused a short circuit and the extra electricity flowed out of another broken wire and into the fuel tank.

    The electricity ignited the vapours in the fuel tank and caused an explosion, which blew a large chunk of the bottom of the plane off. This also caused fractures in the plane that seperated the cockpit from the rest of the plane in 4 seconds. The cockpit fell in the sea while the remaining plane continued flying upwards in flames before its engines failed and it crashed into the sea.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions